Our weekly newsletter Field Guide will take themes—department stores, cemeteries, stadiums—and look at how different cultures play with the same concepts. Each issue will feature an original essay and give a taste of some of the best place-based writing, sounds and images from around the world.


See the latest editions of our Field Guide:


Vol. 24 - Aviation Chronicles

Fictio Legis, a short fiction piece by award-winning Mexican author Valeria Luiselli, leads our Guide devoted to air travel and airports. Learn the dangers of “jet blast,” the world’s shortest passenger flight and what a poet makes of airplanes used as weapons of war.

Vol. 23 - The Precious Resource

Examine how access to reliable water sources is a worldwide issue.

Vol. 22 - Tattoos

Celebrate man's fascination with body art—including a gallery of enticing images shot by Mexican documentary photographer Federico Gama.

Vol. 21 - Oysters

From the food of the poor to the food of the rich, the mollusk has been immortalized by everyone from Lewis Carroll to Shakespeare. Alexander Wooley investigates the fascinating (and unlikely) journey of Namibian oysters.

Vol. 20 - Mexico City

From the popularity of pre-Hispanic libations to the crush of traffic to the popularity of bullfighting, get a glimpse of both the vibrance and the darkness of the Mexican capital.

Vol. 19 - Voting

The act of voting around the world: Zimbabwean writer and political analyst Jacquelin Kataneksza on the power of the vote—even when it doesn’t immediately bring the change you want.

Vol. 18 - Campaign Stops

Why journalists embrace “diner journalism” during campaign season, “hologram campaigns” in India, and stadium rallies in Iran, where candidates are “treated like rock stars.”

Vol. 17 - Museums

Two museums, two very different takes on events that profoundly affected the countries involved.

Vol. 16 - Film

Read about Kampala's thriving film scene, China's first film studio and the first feature film from Australia.

Vol. 15 - Water, Water, Everywhere

We meet an artist who lived in a floating egg—yes, an egg—as well a city on stilts and experiences of water's healing power and meaning.

Vol. 14 - Desert Dwellers

From the Wayuu of Colombia to the Thar women of India, meet those around the world who live on the arid, rugged land.

Vol. 13 - Solitude

Discover the countries where a majority of residents live alone, meet the Last True Hermit and learn what it's like to set sail with nothing but a fishing rod and a laptop.

Vol. 12 - Beauty

Outer Mongolia, Siberia, Afghanistan, Nigeria. Certain places have become synonymous with remoteness, boredom, danger or simply somewhere you just wouldn’t want to go. But what’s the real story?

Vol. 11 - Cross-cultural pollination

Korean pop in Morocco; Mexico's San Juan Chamula; Summoning smells of Indian cuisine from a new home in Paris.

Vol. 10 - DIY Disaster

Taking a look at the do-it-yourself attitude that drives disaster victims to become their own rescuers.

Vol. 9 - Armchair Travel

Social media and fancy camera phones mean there are few parts of the world left unphotographed and hashtagged. Welcome to #ArmchairTravel2.0

Vol. 8 - Darkness

For centuries, the night has been writerly shorthand for sadness, evil or death, but the time between dusk and dawn is restorative.

Vol. 7 - Food Fusion

Food is an integral part of culture, and as cultures change and blend with others, new takes on traditional cuisines emerge.

Vol. 6 - World Cup

Geopolitical gamesmanship on a massive scale, what it means to play for Nigeria and why Greenland can't join in on all the fun.

Vol. 5 - African Diaspora

In recent years, indigenous African traditions—such as Vodun, Candomblé, Lucumí (sometimes called Santería) and others—have seen a resurgence, as young people across the African diaspora try to reconnect with their spiritual roots.

Vol. 4 - Cemeteries

The public spaces where we bury our dead.

Vol. 3 - Refugee Crossings

Refugees often live in temporary camps that can become permanent homes. Many make dangerous journeys on foot or makeshift boats, only to face more uncertainty.

Vol. 2 - Fishing

From the peaceful pastime to the booming industry, the many ways to examine catching fish.

Vol. 1 - Guidebooks

Just what is the difference between tourists and travelers?

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